Chateau de Breze (Work-in-Progress)

This is what I’ve drawn so far for the Chateau de Breze. I’m currently drawing the network of tunnels and caves connected to the dry moat. That’s pretty big, so I’m drawing it on my tablet rather than trying to draw it across 5 or 6 sheets of paper and Frankensteining them all together.

Anyway, I just wanted to keep you all updated. I’m gonna get back to work. If you’ve got any thoughts or questions about any of this, let me know!

Scaligero Castle – Sirmione, Italy

So, there are eight buildings called Scaligero Castle in Italy. They were built by the Scaliger family, who ruled over Verona and were not very creative at naming castles. I mean, being fond of your own last name is fine, but maybe mix it up a little.

This is the Scaligero Castle in Sirmione, which has a very unusual feature: a fortified port. The port once held a fleet which the Scaligers used to control Lake Garda and its waterways. It’s mostly a fortification rather than a noble residence, so it’s fairly utilitarian in design, with most of the castle being defensive structures. The only two buildings inside are a barracks and a tower.

If you’re looking for a way to use this map in your game, allow me to suggest pirates. That’s what I’d use it for and something tells me I’m not alone there.

Next, I’ll be drawing a map I’ve been looking forward to making for a while now: the Château de Brézé. This is a French castle that looks like it was made for RPGs. There isn’t one photo that can explain this place, so let me walk you through it:

  • This is the Château from above. Note the dry moat surrounding it.
  • At the bottom of the dry moat, the walls of the moat are lined with tunnels and caverns. Here’s a photo of these. Here’s another.
  • Some of these lead to very long tunnels. A lot of them are interconnected. And a lot of them predate the castle, having been dug as an underground settlement in the 1100s.
  • So, to recap: people dug tunnels, creating an underground settlement. 400 years later, someone built a castle over that settlement. Then, they dug more tunnels. This place is unbelievably fascinating.

So, that’s the place I’m going to draw for you. I’ve been wanting to draw the Château de Brézé for years and it is time. Wish me luck.

The Digging Machines

This map is an underground mining complex run by mechanical constructs. It has equipment for stamping and smelting ore, as well as a factory for making more constructs. I imagine this place being built by deep gnomes or duergar, since they are:

A) Good at engineering, and

B) Crazy enough to think building self-replicating machines is a good idea.

For patrons, I’ve got a version without the machines in case you just want a regular mine. And there’s the unfurnished version as well for anyone who just wants some caves.

There’s some good stuff coming up, so let’s talk about it. Do you like castles? I hope the answer is yes, because castles are happening. Bullet list mode, engage.

  • Next up is Scaligero Castle, a very unique Italian fortress with its own walled harbor.
  • After that, I’ll be drawing the Chateau de Breze, a French castle with a complex network of tunnels running underneath it. I visited this place a while back and took hundreds of photos of these tunnels so I could make a map of them one day. That day is soon.
  • A few months back, the Castel Sant’Angelo came in second to the Chateau de Breze in a vote for the next big historical map. But Shawn proposed the Castel Sant’Angelo to the Cartographic Congress last month and won, so I’ll be drawing that too. In case you’re unfamiliar with the place, it was originally built as the tomb of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, but was later turned into a fortress by the pope. It’s another very unique place.

So, that’s our future: a France sandwich with two slices of Italy. How’s that sound?